MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – The Philae lander of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe performed the first-ever landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Wednesday.
“Touchdown! My new address: 67P!” the lander’s official Twitter account reported.
Touchdown! Min nye adresse: 67P! #CometLanding— Philae Lander (@Philae2014) 12 ноября 2014
The spacecraft landed successfully on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko at approximately 15:30 GMT. Its touchdown report reached Earth some 30 minutes later.
After completing its historic landing, the lander transmitted first signals to Earth from comet surface.
"European Space Agency [ESA] receiving signals from Philae2014 on surface of comet," the agency said a tweet.
According to the ESA, Philae has fired its harpoons, anchoring itself to the comet's surface, and switched off its flywheel.
The mission to study the comet and its nucleus is aimed at helping scientists to determine whether comets brought water and simple organic molecules to Earth billions of years ago, ultimately paving the way for life.